Skip to main content

tv   The War Room With Jennifer Granholm  Current  September 25, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

7:00 pm
7:01 pm
7:02 pm
7:03 pm
7:04 pm
7:05 pm
7:06 pm
7:07 pm
7:08 pm
7:09 pm
7:10 pm
7:11 pm
7:12 pm
7:13 pm
7:14 pm
7:15 pm
7:16 pm
7:17 pm
7:18 pm
7:19 pm
7:20 pm
7:21 pm
7:22 pm
7:23 pm
7:24 pm
7:25 pm
7:26 pm
7:27 pm
7:28 pm
ranholm. as we just showed you in the previous segment the naacp is one of the hundreds of organizations across the country that are participating in today's national voter registration drive. some of those groups are teaming up with rock bands to target young voters who if they could turn out might decide who wins the white house. so the grammy winning action lt rock band wilco is hoping to motivate their fans. this week, "the war room" got an exclusive backstage pass to their concert at the greek theatre in berkeley, california. we sat down with lead singer jeff tweety who talked about why the issue is so important to him. >> it is friday night and judie is getting ready for the wilco
7:29 pm
show to start but julie isn't just here for the music. she's a volunteer with an organization called head count which registers voters at concerts. she spent the summer following wilco's tour and setting up her table at every performance across the country. >> santa fe, someone ran up to the table screaming it was their 18th birthday and they were needing to get registered. they were so full of excitement. >> jennifer: not everyone is excited to vote. in the 2008 election, less than half of those under the age of 30 voted. and this year, the number of young people who say they plan on voting is 20% lower than the last election. >> i understand a lot of the disillusionment people have with politics but it doesn't change the fact that we should participate. >> jennifer: wilco's front man, jeff tweedy said having the voter registration drives at their concerts sends a signal to their fans to get engaged in the political process. >> i grew up with some musicians
7:30 pm
that were very, very political but actually conveyed the opposite sentiment toward voting. that it wasn't -- it was pointless. i think it is a civic duty. what's at stake is an opportunity to maybe break some of that gridlock. >> jennifer: tweedy understands how politics might be a turnoff to young people. >> i don't see a whole lot of rational discussion and that's maddening that that doesn't exist. that people have such a difficult time hearing each other. >> jennifer: this year, young voters could have a huge impact on the election. their votes could be the deciding factor in swing states like florida ohio and north carolina. >> hi. are you guys registered to vote? all right. enjoy the show. >> jennifer: according to a head count survey, 7 out of 10 young voters moved in the past four years and 43% of those
7:31 pm
potential voters have yet to update their registration. >> hey. are you registered to vote at your current address? >> no. >> would you like to be? it takes a couple of minutes. >> sure. >> awesome. there you go. >> jennifer: for julie and the other volunteers, concerts are a perfect setting for engaging young voters and maybe even their parents. >> she's not buying anything. >> if you promise to vote, if you promise to vote this year, your name goes into a drawing for a signed -- >> oh, cool. you gotta do that. >> all right. >> jennifer: head count is nonpartisan but it is no secret that young voters end to skew to the left. back in 2008, candidate obama carried 66% of the youth vote. he was as some described it, a rock star. but he's since slipped 10 points in the youth demo. jeff tweedy knows a thing or two about rock stars and the out-sized expectations that fans place on them. >> i think everybody participated in a certain amount
7:32 pm
of magical thinking four years ago. i think there is a political reality and just a reality to the fact that you can't snap your fingers and have everything be fixed overnight. but i kind of thing -- i'm not saying this as an advocacy for president obama i just kind of see a romney victory as being a few steps back from that. and just a typical pendulum swing, it doesn't really accomplish anything. i would love to see that end. >> jennifer: so far head count is registered more than 50,000 people and actually hope to double that figure in time for november's election. up next, we're digging into "the war room" archives and unearthing some game-changing slip-ups from past presidential debates. we'll speak with two of the country's top political strattists about how this year's candidates can avoid repeating
7:33 pm
history. it is a story you'll only find in "the war room," right here on current tv.
7:34 pm
[ nervous ] i hope no one recognizes us... think these disguises will... no. [ male announcer ] salty. sweet. and impossible to resist. septic disasters are disgusting and costly, but avoidable. the rid-x septic subscriber program helps prevent backups by sending you monthly doses right to your door so you will never forget to maintain your system.
7:35 pm
sign up at
7:36 pm
>> if kitty dukakis were raped and murdered, would you fave an irrevocable death penalty for the killer? >> no, i don't bernard. i think you know i opposed the death penalty during all of my life. i don't see any evidence that it is a deterrent and i think there are better and more effective ways to deal with violent crime. >> jennifer: ugh just the worst. that was massachusetts governor michael dukakis in his october 1988 debate with then vice president george h. w. bush. dukakis is this passionate response to a hot button question left so many voters cold and overnight his poll numbers dropped from 49% to 42%.
7:37 pm
a dramatic dip from one debate question. even dukakis admitted his answer might have sunk his chances. the question is what questions do president obama and governor mitt romney most dread before next week's debate? can they be tripped up? we have put that question to two top political operatives. joining us tonight "the war room" is mark mckinnon, a former advisor to george w. bush and senator john mccain, founder of no labels which is a nonpartisan group seeking to solve the nation's problems. and also here, returning is democratic strategist donnie fowler. donnie has been political strategist almost every democratic presidential campaign since running al gore's field operations. he now runs his own consulting firm. dog patch strategies. great to you have both back inside "the war room." we previously asked you to submit what you think would be the toughest questions. what you think they would be most afraid of. mark, i'm going to start with
7:38 pm
you. the first question that you submitted was this one. if mitt romney were asked after the attacks in libya you struck out immediately with what appeared to be an overtly political response. should you have demonstrated some reserve? you think he's going to be afraid of that question. how should he respond? >> i think it was a pivotal moment in the campaign. we had a foreign policy crisis and there's been a traditional notion that politics stops at the water's edge. he and his campaign had a very trigger response to that that looked very political. i think -- i think it shifted a lot of people -- we're looking to see how he would act as president. i think what he's going to do, i think what he's likely to do, in this case, the environment favors a sort of response. where in this case he can double down. he's going to say you know, what i was concerned about was people's lives and it was and is a dangerous situation and it is deteriorating further as we see
7:39 pm
now. and so what we need in our diplomacy and at a time like this is not reserve. but we need bold action to make sure we have security in place and we're learning now there was no security. so my feeling is that obama didn't react fast enough. we need to act. >> jennifer: embrace the no apology -- >> on that question, yes. >> jennifer: put on your republican strategist hat which i know is difficult for you. would you refine the answer in any way? >> romney has to look a little less petty a little less pet you on a lent and a little less political. you can see what he and the republicans have done in the last week or two. they've begun to challenge president obama's supposedly dissing the prime minister of israel. not talking with the united nations but going on a talk
7:40 pm
show. he has to take the camera and lights off of him for being so petty as mark said. >> jennifer: looking presidential. >> try to do that. he's having trouble. >> jennifer: all right. so i'm going to flip it over to you because we asked you to put some questions on the table that you think the obama team would be dreading. and the first one that you said is wall street has done very well in the past four years. main street hasn't. is that because your economic team is led by timothy geithner. should obama get this question, how should he respond? >> there is a lot of questions about who has come in with obama to try to reform wall street and prevent this from happening again. tim geithner was on wall street. he was part of the federal government, federal reserve. he came from wall street. >> jennifer: are you answering as donnie now? >> i'm setting up why that's a problem for the president. the president, what he obviously has to say is pretty straightforward. one is that when the stock market goes up which it has
7:41 pm
dramatically. i think from more than 50% almost 50% since obama took office. that's helping our retirement accounts to recover. everyone's 401(k) is in a better place than it was. the other thing that a president has to remind people of is that he set up new reforms that republicans want to take away to keep -- too big to fail from happening again. the banks took all of the risks and went to the american people and said bail is out. that's no longer possible because of what obama did. romney wants to pull back on all of that stuff. >> jennifer: right. >> and he wanted to appoint elizabeth warren who is -- when it comes to fighting for citizens. there is a lot to be said. >> jennifer: you put on your democratic hat. how would you say that he should answer that question? >> i'm so proud of what we've done. most people remember when the crisis happened, a lot of people were stock up on guns.
7:42 pm
we've done a great job of getting the market back. higher than it has been in four years. the economy is recovering, put more money in people's pocketbooks. >> jennifer: that's right. he's gotta double down. governor romney. democrats say that your entitlement reform ideas will further punish the most needy who are already suffering because of the republicans economic policies. how do you respond governor romney? governor romney, how do you respond? >> as we expected, the democrats have entirely demagogued the issue of entitlement reform. the fact is that we made the tough decisions. we've raised the eligibility age but we've also means tested it. we're saying people who have more should give back more benefits. in many ways, i'm talking about redistribution of benefits to people that need them. but so we do have a compassionate conservative approach to entitlement reform. >> jennifer: quick? >> romney and ryan have not been
7:43 pm
very honest -- >> jennifer: you're supposed to -- >> i know. i'm saying we haven't had the big debate. romney and ryan need to get pack to what they promised us. we're going to treat americans like adults, have a big debate about the direction of this country, the direction of social security, medicare and medicaid and i think they've gotten away from that. this is a chance for romney to give the big debate. >> jennifer: hang on. we've got more dreaded questions coming up. mark mckinnon and donnie fowler, we'll continue our conversation on the other side of the break. we have some zingers coming up only on current tv. we'll be right back. people when i'm upset. do you share the sense of outrage that they're doing this, this corruption based on corruption based on corruption. >>i think that's an understatement, eliot. u>> i'm not prone tot. understatement, so explain to me why that is.
7:44 pm
i think the mob learned from wall st., not vice versa. jack you're a little boring. boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire ♪ [ male announcer ] use any citi card to get the benefits of private pass. more concerts, more events
7:45 pm
more experiences. [ jack ] hey, who's boring now? [ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ]
7:46 pm
7:47 pm
>> you can't name the third one? >> the third agency of government that i would do away with education the -- commerce. and let's see. i can't. the third one, i can't. sorry. oops. >> jennifer: it just makes me cringe. never gets old but honestly you can totally relate to forgetting something in a list. that of course was texas governor rick perry flailing at a republican primary debate last november. he wanted to be president, you have to be on your "a" game in the debates which is why president obama and romney are dedicating countless hours preparing for them. i was just reminded by mark mckinnon he actually prepared
7:48 pm
sarah palin for her vice presidential debate. as many who watch the show know i was prepping joe biden as sarah palin for the vice presidential debate. you must have been in sedona. >> i was. >> jennifer: yeah. [ laughter ] >> jennifer: you did a good job on that. >> she beat expectations. that's what it is all about. >> jennifer: did you play joe biden? >> i did not. >> jennifer: you were in the background helping her. >> did i one early night. that was my obligation. >> jennifer: it is an interesting thing to prep for debates as he with all know because there's countless hours that go into it. there is a whole debate camp that goes into it including lots of questions you have to go over and especially trying to find the toughest question. the question that you had proposed as the fiscal cliff looms, your proposal to deal
7:49 pm
with budget deficit involves spending cuts and tax increases for the wealthy. mr. president, what will you cut? you're president obama. how do you answer that question concisely? >> first, the president reminds america of where he started four years ago. the budget deficit was already $1.3 trillion. that's what he inherited plus a massive federal debt. so then he has to say what has happened positively. first -- >> jennifer: so he doesn't answer -- >> he said where we come from. where have we come from. we know the story already. it takes constant reminding. the president will do that again. >> jennifer: let me ask you a question before you get there. this is an interesting question, my husband and i have this debate. you're asked this question, what will you cut? and the person who is answering is often told don't answer the question you're asked. answer the question you want to answer right? isn't that the advice you always give? but sometimes if you don't answer the right question right away, you look like you are evading, do you not?
7:50 pm
>> yes, do you. that's the second part of what the president has to say. he has to say first of all i'm already working on this. the growth of government is smaller, federal government is smaller than any time since dwight eisenhower was president. second he said one thing we're going to -- we're going to do is continue to fight fraud and medicare and medicaid and we'll have to reform entitlements for the younger generations. >> jennifer: here are the three things i would -- anticipate -- >> the third may be this very simple point which is the defense budget. >> jennifer: right. >> we spend more money the united states, the next 17 countries combined, 15 of the countries happen to be our allies. >> there's some room there. i think your point is a good one. easy to say -- we would cut. millions of dollars. it will sound specific. all they have to do is say we've done this, we've done that. we've done all of these things. republicans have done zero on the issue of new revenue. we've gone above and beyond.
7:51 pm
>> jennifer: this is the important point. when you answer a question in a debate, you say your point then you pivot to an attack. you always have to pivot to an attack. you want to get your opponent off of their game. >> this is a choice, not a referendum. >> jennifer: mark, you asked this question that you think governor romney could be concerned about. because you haven't been specific with how you would pay for your 20% across the board tax cuts, democrats say it would end up costing the middle class. specifically, i'm the moderator specifically, governor romney, what deductions would you eliminate? tell us now. >> home mortgage deductions, governor. >> jennifer: you would eliminate the home mortgage deduction? >> canada doesn't have any mortgage deductions. >> jennifer: no wonder you're not closely advising the romney team. [ laughter ] but how would you -- >> i would advise some specificity. eliminate home mortgage deductions for second homes.
7:52 pm
cut the charitable deductions by a quarter. they're supposed to be charitable. you should be doing it because you -- you shouldn't be doing it because you want to get something back. >> romney has another chance to give it to us. if you're really wealthy which he started to say, if you're really wealthy, you won't get as many benefits, especially home mortgage deductions. he should -- he won't. he said back off on the notion there should be no capital gains. for anybody making under $250,000. >> jennifer: if he doesn't get specific, i'm the president. i'm going to say he didn't get specific again. you can hear why. what he's going to tell you is something you don't want to hear right? quickly. -- >> therefore he won't do it. we can defend our notion it will be a tax increase on the middle class. >> jennifer: expectations for the first debate. 30 seconds. >> i think the expectations are really high on obama. really low on romney when they should be the other way around.
7:53 pm
obama is not as good as people think he is. >> romney won almost every debate in the season. he's been preparing for these debates since june. he's going to do well. they're both good debaters. they're both smart men. >> jennifer: thank you for coming inside "the war room" talking about debate strategy, mark and donnie. coming up next, presidential candidates can hire big media firms to help with their ads but congressional candidates get brett ehrlich. >> coming up, the three congressional ads you have to see! wait, you don't have to see them but it would make my day. don't go away. connect with "the war room" jennifer granholm. >>it's a call to arms. make your voice heard.
7:54 pm
7:55 pm
7:56 pm
>> jennifer: with so much focus on the presidential race it can be difficult for congressional candidates to cut through the clutter. lec luckily brett ehrlich is here to help them sharpen the most crucial weapon in the fight for recognition, the campaign ad. shh, brett's talking now. >> the big ticket candidates have large media apparatuses to help them make their campaign ads but the little guys need all the help they can get. here are my tips for making creative effective congressional ads. one, get the whole family involved. >> for more than 20 years joe manchin has gotten his haircut by his same haircut. his wife, gayle. he cut waste cut taxes and put our state's finances in order. >> the only person we've established is any good at cutting things is mrs. manchin. if joe manchin is running for a guy who sits there while someone else cuts the budget, he's got
7:57 pm
my vote. air cuts in the kitchen -- haircuts in the kitchen gross. dinnertime kids. macaroni surprise. what's the surprise? your father's hair. tell everyone we're all in the same boat. specifically a slave ship called the u.s.s. obama boat. >> this is so painful. >> no questions. >> let's not enslave our children with debt. it is time to turn this ship around. i'm mark running for congress. >> this is unacceptable except using children as rowing slaves. that's actually a pretty good idea. finally, distinguish yourself. not from other candidates but from beverages that share your name. >> i'm joe coors. i'm not a beer. and i approve this message. >> two things. first, if people think you're a beer let them think you're a beer. people like beer. second, every politician's kind of like coors light. tasteless, watered down and typically to blame for bad decisions. i'm done talking now.
7:58 pm
7:59 pm